Summary: We spend a lot of time reading and studying about the great things of God. While that is great, we need to also take time to see what the enemy is doing as well.
A Thief Never Robs Goodwill
You will not fully understand the title of this message until we get further into it. So I am not going to dwell on it much for now.
But just keep in mind: A Thief Never Robs Goodwill.
Read John 10:10
You know I am a sports fan and I love football. There is one thing that I have noticed from the teams as they prepare for each week’s game.
They focus more on the other team than their own.
You have Spring Training just before school lets out.
You work on getting into shape, getting faster in your running.
But once the season starts, the focus of the coach changes from his team to focus more on the other team.
When it comes time to watch film, the coaches will study the other team in:
Their formations – how they will line up
Their plays – how they move the football
Their “key” players – those who you need to stop
They watch these films, take notes and then put a plan together that they teach their players.
So the game is not just about our team and our strong points, it’s finding the weak spots of the other team and catching them off guard.
We as Christians should be doing the same thing. But instead we would rather read and study
About our future
About our Savior
And this is not bad – but we must know what the enemy is up to.
Why? He knows all about you.
He was there to see how you reacted when:
In first grade that kid made fun of you
When that sixth grader made fun of your clothes
(Girls) When your first love broke your heart
(Guys) when you saw your first playboy
When you were tempted in high school
When you lost your husband to divorce
When you lost your wife to cancer
He was there. He saw what it did to you. He took notes.
He knows your weaknesses. He knows what to throw in your way to cause you to stumble.
Jesus tells us here in John 10:10:
“…The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy…”
The only reason Satan is here is to do whatever it takes to get rid of you.
It’s great to read and study about:
Your future mansions
David and his accomplishments
But sometimes you have go to get your bible down and see what the enemy is up to.
You are doing well until all of sudden “BAM” something happens and since you are not aware of how the devil works; his attack almost does you in.
· He blind-sides you.
· He catches unaware.
· He gets you while you are not looking.
· He sneaks up on you while you are thinking about heaven.
So let’s see what kind of warning that Jesus is giving us here: and don’t forget, “A thief doesn’t rob Goodwill”
1. Steal – your joy
If the enemy is after one thing in your life, it’s your joy.
Because if you have perfect joy in your life:
· You’ll be dancing even though you have no job
· You’ll be singing God’s praises even though things are not going your way.
· You’ll be smiling while someone else if stabbing you in the back…
Why? Because you have the joy of the Lord living within you
“But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy…”
“…Weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning…”
“…They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”
Satan knows that: what you have joy about you are going to share with others. You are going to talk about the things that make you happy.
He also realizes that when you have the joy in your heart, it will be harder to get you to stumble.
Because if I have joy in my heart and I am in constant praise to my Heavenly Father, when the enemy tries to throw something in my way, without even knowing it, I will just skip over it as I continue to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
For the Christian, Joy is more than an emotion. Joy is a tool God gives us to overcome our circumstances, to empower us to rise above the pain and the sorrows of this life.
So he is after my joy.
2. Kill – Your aspirations
Satan knows that you are here for a purpose. He is trying his best to keep you from achieving the “dream” that God has birthed into your being.
He is not concerned where you are now; the enemy is more concerned about where you are going.